A dollar a day keep ads away

Pandora to release day pass for ad-free listening

Pandora is looking to add a paid day pass to its service later this year, company executives revealed during Pandora’s investor day Thursday. The day pass will give users a way to listen without advertising interruptions, and they won’t have to subscribe to the company’s Pandora One subscription plan.

[company]Pandora[/company] Chief Product Officer Chris Phillips told investors Thursday that this could make Pandora a good source of music for a summer BBQ party, where users don’t want to annoy their guests with ad breaks. He showed off a slide that featured a sign-up page for a 24-hour plan for $0.99, but added that the company will be testing the price as well as the question whether the day pass should be for one or three days.

pandora one day pass

A Pandora spokesperson confirmed plans for the day pass Friday, sending me the following statement via email:

“Pandora is committed to delivering an effortless, personalized experience and we recognize some consumers may want an ad-free experience but don’t necessarily want to commit to a subscription. This offering will allow consumers to choose and explore what is right for them or suits a particular event or experience. Pricing and exact timing are yet to be determined but we expect it to be available later this year.”

Pandora currently offers an ad-free subscription tier dubbed Pandora One for $4.99 a month that also offers 192 kbps playback on the web as well as more skips per day than the ad-supported version of the service.

However, Pandora still makes most of its money with its ad-supported service; in Q4, the company generated $220 million in revenue from advertising, but only $47.9 million from subscriptions. Moreover, ad revenue grew 36 percent year-over-year, whereas subscription revenue only grew 24 percent year-over-year.